Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.
Japanese government’s decision to increase regulations on Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange that was hacked a few weeks ago, is affecting the price of Bitcoin, forcing it below USD 9,000 and eventually around USD 8,800 at the time of writing.
Police in Japan has claimed that Japanese people have lost over USD 6 million in cryptocurrency hacks only last year. Japan has generally been very accepting of the new digital assets but it is taking exception to Binance, which is based in Hong Kong, and Chinese politics with Japan might a be a factor in this decision.
South Korea has been cracking down on ICOs but sources close to the current government believe that the ban on new ICOs could soon be lifted as it doesn’t want to miss out on the new asset class. The authorities are going to follow the steps by the US government to allow ICOs to operate if they register with the government, according to Cointelegraph.
South Korea is also stepping up to investigate banks over crypto-linked Anti-Money-Laundering (AML) guidelines. Despite all this negative news, South Korea is still considered as a future destination for blockchain-based technologies because of its tech infrastructure and human resource working on the blockchain technology.
Over in China, ICOs and cryptocurrency exchanges have been banned for a long time. WeChat, the East’s answer to Whatsapp, is undergoing a crypto crackdown.
Ripple, however, is close to making a breakthrough and the pre-mined cryptocurrency could be the first fully legal coin to be allowed access to the Chinese market after regulatory clarity is achieved. Chinese regulators will test Ripple’s settlement solution.
While China is cracking down on cryptocurrencies, top Chinese innovators are currently unfazed by these latest developments. According to them, there are still plenty of opportunities despite the ban on ICOs, cryptocurrency exchanges and foreign companies dealing in cryptocurrencies.
The “Other China” is behaving oppositely to the mainland Chinese government’s overbearing attitude. Taiwan is actually moving towards liberalization of cryptocurrencies on its soil.
The Indian government’s struggles with cryptocurrencies continue as several exchanges were closed down in response to the government’s aggressive clampdown. Crypto trade also took a hit in the second most populous country in the world. India’s overall trading took a dive by over 90% as the Reserve Bank of India is finalizing regulations.
Malaysia’s Air Asia airlines is considering launching its digital cryptocurrency to allow cashless services. The idea was floated by one of the investors of the airline and one of Malaysia’s richest persons. Malaysia is considered as one of the best countries to be for cryptocurrency investors.
In a move by the Indonesian Central Bank, cryptocurrencies are not considered legitimate payments. The warning, however, makes no mention of cryptocurrency exchanges so there may be a lot following this story.
Still, Indonesia is considered a top destination for crypto startups and traders, where the crypto fever is reshaping financial markets. It is projected that within a matter of weeks, the number of crypto traders in the country will be more than conventional traders in the stock exchange.
The Saudi Arabia Monetary Authority (SAMA) is working to adopt Ripple’s blockchain technology. In a first, SAMA signed an agreement with Ripple to test a pilot program to use blockchain for its services. Central banks like SAMA are very interested in the blockchain itself, rather than in cryptocurrencies.
Over in the United Arab Emirates, a local expert has predicted a heavy Bitcoin price tanking in the coming weeks to a paltry $2,800.
Speaking at a university in Qatar, Jason Griffey, the creator of LibraryBox project is of the opinion that blockchain should be employed in libraries around the world.